Spring Awakening is based on a controversial 1981 play by German playwright Frank Wedekind, which was banned for a time in Germany because of its frank portrayal of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide. Set in late 19th-century Germany, it tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. Alternative and folk-infused rock music capture and reflect the emotional essence of the timeless experience of coming of age.
Book and Lyrics by Steven Sater
Music by Duncan Sheik
Directed by Brian MacDevitt, Sara Pearson, Patrik Widrig
Choreographed by Sara Pearson, Patrik Widrig
Music Directed by William Yanesh
Set Design by Ruthmarie Tenorio
Costume Design by Kara Waala
Lighting Design by Robert Denton
Projection Design by Andrew Cissna
Created in collaboration with students of the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland College Park and performed at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.
“ The production was one of the most moving, artistic, and thoughtful shows that I’ve seen onstage in a long time. It was true to the material but unique in concept and execution. The presence of the Elementals heightened the tensions and deepened the emotional scope of the story without interfering with it. It was all played out on a set that was both effective in the show and beautiful in its own right.”
– Michael Bergman, Theatre Department, The Potomac School, McLean, VA
“The integration of movement and song and speech was glorious. The movement was so natural in its doing that nothing was surprising–only right and revealing. Now I want to read Wedekind."
– Gretchen Dunn
“Congratulations to all of the artists who engaged in the collaborative processes that developed the current production of Spring Awakening. It is an excellent example of authentic collaboration across disciplines. I understand the incredible commitment and heart required to achieve such unity of community. There is no evidence of ego. No one element overpowers another. There is power and grace in concept and execution. The resounding enthusiasm of the audience at the curtain calls was testament to the success of the performance and production. I was joyously moved to experience a creation that fulfilled my dreams of what “COULD BE” over the many years of growing the academic programs within the Performing Arts Center at Maryland."
– Alcine Wiltz, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland
"I am sinking. I am sinking. Those rigid old people were like my grandparents. Doing what they thought was right to give a child direction through a ‘good life’. With the best of intentions, making a mess of everything that was so tender and breakable. I loved the Elementals slinking in through the windows and doors like fresh air or a new thought that hardly has formed yet but moves the air around you and something has changed. Just like spring. So delicate getting stronger day by day. To me, they were like blessings that are always there to take care of me if I tune in. I like when they filled that space and also when they did the angry boot dances with the students. So the play really got me in touch with my anger well as my sadness. Dennis thought the play was Germany in the early 19th century but on second viewing realized it was St Paul, MN in the mid 50's. I realized it was Kansas City, MO in the mid sixties – and was the reason I fled for somewhere with more air and space where I could feel the presence of the Elementals. Thanks for the gift of the play. Grim as it was. It was truth."
– Regina Wray, teacher of the Alexander technique, Kripalu Yoga and other forms of body work